Having a six month southern hemisphere seasonal switch doesn’t always have an advantage. The good media items on cooking and preserving food, don’t get bookmarked because they aren’t relevant immediately. So hang on to this list until your garden is in glut, rather than frost bitten and dormant like mine.
In a recent New York Times Food article by Bonnie Benwick she points out why we need to be told how to do this, and why it’s important and growing in popularity.
It’s not all that difficult to identify stumbling blocks. No family role models. Memories of seasonal family servitude. Misperception or laziness. Fear.
And she also points out
For every enthusiast with a blog and a jar lifter, there’s an essayist bent on exposing the posers among a genuinely interested, growing population.
My first (and last) entry into the jams and preserves section at our local show won the blue ribbon for best exhibitor. The judge said she loved the ‘clarity’ of my Three Mixed Variety Jams. So did I, but it was just a few years of coming to our country house with a good garden and fruit trees and I didn’t know how to do it any differently. When I found that they don’t taste any of the entries ( in wine at least you can spit, what happens to spoonful of jam?) it wasn’t fun entering any more. That was really why I was preserving, because the tastes were better than the commercial jams.
So, if I’m in that ‘essayist exposing’ category, it’s not from wanting to make it seem difficult just that my sources of inspiration need to lift above basic nuts and bolts of Jam=fruit+sugar+heat. I’m requiring some inspiration and ideas for different produce and recipes that used the changed end product in way that works. If I look to American books, it because there’s a much longer experience there of preserving food that’s for sustaining you through long winters. Long boring winters. It has lead to a diversity of cultural traditions that we’re only starting to see here.
Have a look at the article and its list of recommended books, and have a look at the Related Items links to some of our stories and our Recipe section.
Most of these books are available through Australian online bookstore Booktopia.